Doctors, dentists and larger healthcare organizations and providers can leverage the power of the internet to lead potential patients from a Google search to scheduling an appointment.
SEO for Doctors: Best Practices
Why should doctors care about SEO?
The agencies that contributed to the infographic below (including Thrive) said that of their healthcare clients, 60% of new patients come from organic search traffic.
SEO (search engine optimization) is the practice of optimizing a website so users can find it when searching for specific keywords you may be ranking for, such as “doctor near me.”
New patients = more revenue = growing business.
What are your patients searching for?
Since doctors are typically located near the user searching, we’ll focus more on local SEO best practices in this post, but know that your blog posts or other content may rank well globally, too.
Top keywords related to “doctor near me”:
You’ll notice the variations here, so assuming you’re a hospital, you’ll want to map out multiple service pages and make sure these keywords and others are represented.
Note: when you are performing keyword research, also consider competition. Most keyword tools will show some sort of metric to help you better choose keywords with higher volume and lower competition.
6 SEO strategies for doctors
Blog posts can help you rank and become engaging social media content. When brainstorming blog post topics, think about the frequently asked questions you get from your patients. And then, use the knowledge of your doctors to answer the questions in-depth.
Internal links, or linking from a blog post to a service page, will signal to Google that this page is about X and will help it rank for the anchor text used. Before you go link happy, consider the site architecture and which pages you want to rank for which keywords. We want to avoid keyword cannibalism, or ranking multiple pages for the same keyword.
Blog posts can rank well for long-tail keywords such as “how to deal with seasonal allergies” and service pages can rank for more succinct keywords like “allergy shot.”
Build backlinks from other websites to help increase your website’s authority and visibility in search. Depending on your domain authority (DA), you’ll want to find healthcare websites with blogs that you can contribute to (with a link back to your website) along with claiming and updating business directory listings (Healthgrades, Google My Business, etc.). A strategy to consider is whether or not you create listings for all of your physicians or just the clinic.
Positive press releases are a great way to generate awareness and backlinks to your website. Here are a few situations that offer up great PR material opportunities:
- Hiring a new doctor
- New technology/method
- Sponsorships and event
- Clinic expansion
Bonus! Get reviews for your physicians and clinics. Reviews are a crucial step in the decision-making process, whether your potential patients choose you or the competition. Learn more about our healthcare reputation management service.
Pagespeed has became extremely important. Check your website’s speed with Google’s tool and work with your web developer to optimize the website. If you’re graded at a D or F, you are missing out on traffic and search engines will not rank you above the competitor with a faster website.
Is your website mobile-friendly? WordPress is a very common content management system, but some websites in the healthcare industry opt for a different CMS. Check with your web development company to make sure the website is accessible on any device.
Doctor SEO Infographic
For more stats and fun facts, check out this infographic!